When Erdogan’s aide, Yerkel, kicked a mourner several times during his official visit to the site of Soma mine explosion, he made it clear that not only does he lack control over his anger, but that he also has little regard for humans. The Turkish government needs to take strong actions if it hopes to atone for this absurd show of power and rectify its image but more importantly if it wants to assure its citizens that such incidents won’t happen again!
|Yusuf Yerkel kicking a protestor - Copyright: Guardian|
Yusuf Yerkel, accompanying Prime Minister Erdogan to Soma in the wake of the coalmine tragedy has admitted to kicking a protester. The mine incident has already witnessed over 280 deaths while scores remain missing. Soma, as is the rest of Turkey, is already fuming from the fatalities and the lack of safety measures for their workers.
Turkey has seen rapid economic growth in the last eleven years under Erdogan but still suffers from some of the worst health and safety standards for its workers. Yerkel’s kicking of the mourner only added irony to Erdogan’s unsympathetic words during an earlier speech when he said that “accidents happen” and “this is the destiny of the job.”
Although the Prime Minister’s office distanced itself from Yerkel’s actions, the reality is that it can’t run far from it. Yerkel has struck a huge blow to his government’s credibility. If Erdogan wants to regain it, he needs to demonstrate that he will not tolerate such abuse of power now or in the future.